By Aaron Bragman on April 15, 2014
Competes with: Mercedes-Benz CLA250, Buick Verano, Acura ILX Hybrid
Looks like: Every other Audi, only smaller
Powertrains: 150-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel; six-speed S tronic automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Summer 2015
Audi's expansion of its entry-level A3 lineup continues with the announcement at the 2014 New York International Auto Show that the company will be bringing the A3 Sportback TDI diesel to the U.S. next summer. It will join the A3 sedan currently on sale, the A3 Cabriolet, TDI diesel sedan, Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid and S3 high-performance sedan, all arriving between now and summer 2015.
The new A3 Sportback wears much of the same styling as the A3 sedan, but sports a longer roofline and a hatchback body style for added cargo flexibility. The higher roof should also greatly improve headroom for rear occupants.
The A3 Sportback's interior carries over from the sedan as well, with a premium environment and a surprising amount of standard equipment. The A3 Sportback TDI will offer the same creature comforts as the A3 sedan, including Audi's MMI navigation system interface, the Audi Drive Select adjustable steering system, 4G LTE connectivity and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. All new A3 models will also feature the latest version of Audi Connect, which includes features such as picture navigation, read-aloud news headlines, Facebook and Twitter alerts, and more.
The new A3 Sportback TDI will have Audi's latest turbocharged 2.0-liter clean-diesel four-cylinder engine, mated only to a six-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. Quattro all-wheel drive will not be available; the A3 Sportback TDI will be front-wheel drive only. Electronic power steering enables the automaker to offer Audi Drive Select, a system that can adjust steering feel, engine response and transmission calibration to allow the driver to customize the driving experience to either favor sport or comfort. No fuel-economy numbers have yet been published for the A3 Sportback TDI.
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman grew up in the Detroit area, comes from an automotive family and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Email Aaron